Hi friends, it's me, your friend Cal. I've been super busy with uni work and Simpsons Hit and Run since the new year, so posts have been a bit thin on the ground. To overcompensate in a way that isn't actually all that interesting, I thought I'd give ya a quick round up of all the stuff I've not been bothered to write about... Fill your boots, yer at yer A'ntie's. It's not all as bleak as Rag and Fucking Bone Man, I promise.
Hotel Lux - Envoi
Come hither friends, for the debut single of London's most deranged new quintet has come upon us during Vapour Trail's sabbatical. Five minutes of dirge and depravity, Lewis Duffin's snarl compliments the Monks-like groove that the Lux lock into. Frighteningly catchy, it perfectly encapsulates the oblique greyscale of austerity Britain.
The Moonlandingz - The Strangle of Anna
Look, if at this point you're not more excited for the release of The Moonlandingz' debut album than the birth of your firstborn, you're just objectively wrong. Here, cosmic rock 'n' roll sex lizard Johnny Rocket teams up with Slow Club's Rebecca Taylor for the band's first proper ballad; imagine you're listening to Sometimes Always by the Jesus and Mary Chain, whilst the hospital turns off life support. Beautiful euphoria, exposing a softer underbelly to the group that the we didn't even know was there.
Melt Dunes - Flesh
The second single from the live juggernaut that is aggro psych outfit Melt Dunes, Flesh is a six minute assault that weaves occultist guitar wizardry with a gothic organ feakout to bring terror and anger in equal measure. An explosion of noise, with shamanic guitar licks and venomous vocals flying left right and centre, this is dark enough to summon satan herself out the floorboards.
LA Witch - Brian
LA Witch are an American band whose sound is much alike that of the BJM and Tess Parks, entrancing psychedelic stomp married with Sade Sanchez's mesmeric, raucous vocals. It recalls the witchier, darker days of LA's history, sounding exactly like you'd expect a band called LA Witch to sound - definitely more Manson and Gun Club than Hollywood.
Mick Harvey - Cargo Cult
A translation of Cargo Culte by Serge Gainsbourg, this is the perfect modern interpretation of Le Histoire De Melody Nelson's perfect closer. Just as cinematic as Serge's 1971 classic, Harvey's husky voice is so incredible. He takes the same godly, prescient delivery that makes Gainsbourg sound so amazing, and delivers across a volley of super poetic English interpretations of the French classic. The rest of the album Intoxicated Woman has the same premise and tackles it with the same sophisticated charm, but this is the creme de la creme of Harvey's translations so far.
10,000 Russos - Karl Burns (live Fuzz Club session)
Brooding, fuming, but definitely never boring, Portugese noiseniks 10000 Russos unveiled earlier this month a live session album that actualises their droning, evil psychedelia. Even more unbridled than on record, it's a cosmic trip into the underworld, like Wooden Shjips meeting Electric Wizard for a picnic in a storm.
Ride - Charm Assault
A surprisingly catchy return to the fold and a return to form from the almighty shoegazers, Charm Assault is a bright upbeat continuation of their last great song Black Nite Crash. Energetic from start to finish, it's as if they've taken on board the sounds of '10s shoegaze and made it their own, with Gardener and Bell's voices harmonising just as beautifully as they did 20 years ago.
Phobophobes - The Nevernever
The latest masterpiece from South London's cosmic garage rock shamen, this record combines a crazy, transformative organ part with howling lyrics about the 'Nevernever'. Think an outerstellar update of Iggy Pop's The Idiot, this is maybe the best Phobophobes track so far, combining the icy cool garage rock with a genuinely unnerving sleaze to make for a near modern classic, this band are a treasure to the scene.
Twin Palace - (I Will Be Aware That) I'm Dreaming
From their debut EP Standby, (I Will Be Aware That) I'm Dreaming is the most obnoxiously dreamy moment on the band's first effort. A cataclysmic wall of sound blends with charming vocals and some clambering percussion to fully thrust you into a dreamlike state. There are so many cliches to hand when you mention shoegaze, but all of them are true when it comes to this band.
Letting Up Despite Great Faults - Pageantry
Androgynous vocals blending seemlessly into a bright guitar hook that falls somewhere between Disintergration-era Cure and prime-C86 Tallulah Gosh, this is a perfect nugget of dream-pop revivalism. Genuinely life affirming, it's perfect pop music that merges the classic Cocteau sounds with high production values making sure Pageantry provides both liminal escapism and instant pop joy.
(Words: Cal Cashin)